11 year old Herman - suddenly really unsettled, fidgety and persistent!

Waltertortie

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Hi everyone - I’m new to the Tort forum. I’ve got an 11 year old Herman tort called Walter who we love very much (I’ll attach a picture of him)
We bought him when he was 7 and he guy who owned him had never hibernated him - we were urged to try and have every year with no luck so he is in his indoor enclosure every winter. This year we decided to build him a new bigger enclosure with a ramp etc to keep him entertained. My boyfriend loves him and we’ve been letting him out around the house for a few hours a day which I now know and I’ve read online that this shouldn’t be allowed so we’ve stopped it - he is SO persistent in wanting to come out scratching at the edges and just staring at us constantly. We love him snd we just want him to be happy he seems so angry all the time! He is obsessed with clothing and when he is out he does try and bite our toes (we don’t allow him out anymore) does anyone have any suggestions for his enclosure or why he’s like this?
Obviously I know he would rather be outside but he just can’t be outside at winter here it’s too cold for him.
He’s a menace!
thanks for any help in advance.
Roberta and Walt
 

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KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! Walter sure is a handsome dude!

If I'm understanding correctly, you're saying that Walter was well behaved earlier on. Then you started letting him run around the house each day, at least when the weather wasn't good. Then you read that it is unsafe to let him on the floor, so you stopped doing that. Now, with the weather too cold and not on the floor, he's wanting out of his enclosure all the time. If you do put him on the floor, he's biting toes.

If I'm correct in interpreting your post, I think
1) he now knows there's a fun place to go outside his enclosure, and he's trying to get there.
2) I don't know when Hermann's become sexually mature, but maybe that's part of his angry mood. My friend's 100lb sulcata, usually very easy going, is right now a menace. He corners one of us, or one of her little dogs, and rams. Or comes up behind one of us and smashes into our legs.
3) toes have always been a favorite of torts, especially if they have polish on them. They look just like a sweet red flower.

Now for the bad news...I have no idea how to fix any of this other than the obvious...wear shoes. 🤣
But seriously, maybe if you put something new into his enclosure, like some plants in pots, it could take his mind off escape for a while. Pothos, spider plant, and Boston fern all are munch safe and work well.

Has he shown any signs of wanting to mate? If that is part of the problem you could try putting an appropriately sized rock, or a ball, or an old shoe in with him. Sometimes torts will try to mate with things like these.

I don't know anything else to try. Hopefully someone else will chime in with more ideas.
 

Waltertortie

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Nov 25, 2020
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London
Hi Karen!

thanks so much for responding! I mean he has always been a bit of a menace but never to this extent! I feel bad now he knows that outside of his enclosure is so fun so we have started putting some new things in there - he’s now got a Little Rock garden, has a new cave arriving today and a slide. So fingers crossed this will help a bit - thanks for the advice on the plants I’ll definitely get some of those too.
So he’s never before seemed to have sexual interest in anything then yesterday he was acting super strange and seemed to be having a go humping something in his enclosure, but I’ve never seen him do it before! So that is intriguing it’s probably likely it’s that too!

I’ll try all your suggestions though thankyou so much! fingers crossed!
 

Waltertortie

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Nov 25, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
London
I am going insane today - he won’t stop scratching at this one corner that’s near where we sit on the sofa and he hasn’t slept or eaten all day! He is being a right jerk! I put loads of cool new stuff in his home yesterday and he couldn’t care less just wants to come out 😩
Help!!
 

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